Monthly Archives: September 2015

What I’ve Learned From Owning A SmartBand

Smartwatches, smart bands & other attachable connected trinkets are all the rage now – you can buy them for your dog, attach cameras to your baby’s crib & switch your lights on from the comfort of your office, ready for when you get home.  They’re enabling us to do things that a few years ago, simply would have been impossible!

I’m the first to admit that when smart watches first appeared I considered them to be a gimmick that wouldn’t last.  I’ll happily eat my words as I have a smart watch & would actually be lost without it now.

It started with wondering how much of a decent night’s sleep I was getting – I was always tired, regardless of the time I went to bed, so I started looking into sleep monitors & whathaveyou, finally settling on the SW10 from Sony – It’d monitor my sleep, as well as notify me about calls, alarms, as well as my steps for the day & other events via the app Sony created for it.  It was small & unassuming & only needed to be taken off whilst charging.  I had it a few months before I lost it, I hunted high & low for it & genuinely pined for it; I’d check my sleep as soon as I woke up to check my restless periods & deep sleep to try & notice trends, so as soon as it was gone I was in the dark once more about my sleep.

SW10 has a multitude of colour options

The quest for a new smart band began!

By now, the fitness market had become saturated with smart bands; each promising to be the best for your needs.  By the time I’d lost the Sony, I was cycling & using Strava to track them, which is great (I still use it from time to time to track segment speed increases) I wanted more though, not just tracking my cycling.  Being in the job I am in, connected tech advances is the area I find most exciting.  So, I did my research & decided that a small company, who’d started through crowdfunding on IndieGoGo would be my next choice & I opted for the Misfit Flash, I blogged about it back in February, however as good as it was, I couldn’t get to grips with the point system & still used Strava to track my cycling alongside activating the cycle option on the wearable.

The Flash also has an array of colour options

In April this year, I turned 33.  My gift was the Fitbit Surge, It promised an update to add accurate cycling to it; which was released a few weeks after I got it.  If it was waterproof, I’d never take it off; except for charging it.  (it is water resistant to a degree, but the packaging states to not submerge it in water) I know Fitbit’s have suffered a little due to the “Fitbit Rash” however, I’ve only suffered a light rash once; readjusting the strap soon fixed it.  It is the Flagship device from Fitbit & although a little chunky to wear, you do become used to its size relatively quickly, however using the GPS on it as much as I do will dramatically reduce your battery life from 7 days to about 3.  Even President Obama has one!

Surge colour variations

Anyway, the point was what I’ve learned.  Now that I’ve owned a few different variations & have been tracking my food & am a lot more active than before, these are my main findings:

  1. Despite me thinking that I was pretty active before I joined the gym. I wasn’t.  (Walking everywhere, although is a good start cannot be classed as being active, imo)
  2. I do not walk about as much as I thought – I get weekly reports from Fitbit on how many steps I did & which days were most active.  If I average them out it’s about 7,000 a day which is below the suggested 10,000 steps
  3. 8 hours of sleep is too much for me.  I’m tired & irritable if I oversleep, the recommended 8 hours a night is too much.  I’m a higher functioning human being if I get 5-6 hours an evening
  4. I’m not really restless in my sleep, I generally fall asleep & that is me until morning – if my sleep reports are accurate anyway
  5. I was severely undereating for years – This part in particular will probably get its own blog post as I find food fascinating & am studying nutrition
  6. Stress causes my heart rate to increase on average 10bpm, I normally have a relatively low RHR of 54bmp, however any kind of internal worry that I’m not correctly dealing with displays with an elevated HR
  7. Owning a smartband has made me try harder, push faster & generally want to be better in myself.  It’s almost like a mini competition with yourself to do a little better than you did yesterday.  I also love how I can look back a year ago on Strava & see how much faster I am now 🙂